Updated: Jun 4
A drug to treat coronavirus patients, developed by the DRDO (Defence Research and Development Organisation), has been approved for emergency use by the country's top drug controller DCGI.
The DRDO, a government agency charged with the military's research and development, developed 2-DG with the help of Hyderabad-based Dr. Reddy's Laboratories, an anti-Covid-19 therapeutic application of the drug 2-deoxy-D-glucose (2-DG).
The third phase of the clinical trial results has shown that this molecule helps in the faster recovery of hospitalized patients and reduces supplemental oxygen dependence. A higher proportion of patients treated with 2-DG showed RT-PCR negative conversion in patients infected with the coronavirus.
In phase-II trials (including dose-ranging) conducted from May to October 2020, the drug was found to be safe in Covid-19 patients and showed significant improvement in their recovery. Phase-IIa was conducted in 6 hospitals and phase-IIb (dose-ranging) clinical trial was conducted at 11 hospitals all over the country.
The Drugs Controller General of India (DCGI) cleared the drug after clinical trial results showed that a molecule present in the drug helps in faster recovery of hospitalized patients and reduces supplemental oxygen dependence.
Based on successful results, DCGI further permitted the phase-III clinical trials in November 2020. The Phase-III clinical trial was conducted on 220 patients from December 2020 to March 2021 at 27 Covid-1 hospitals situated in the states of Delhi, UP, West Bengal, Gujrat, Rajasthan, Maharashtra, Andhra Pradesh, Telangana, Karnataka, and Tamil Nadu.
The drug comes in powder form in a sachet, which is taken orally by dissolving it in water. It accumulates in the virus-infected cells and prevents virus growth by stopping viral synthesis and energy production.
The drug is expected to save precious lives due to the mechanism of operation of the drug in infected cells. This also reduces the hospital stay of Covid-19 patients and the burden on the health infrastructure of the country.
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